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France profonde

The summer brings travelling family circuses—like Le Cirque de Provence, which has been performing here for 26 years. Plus, film subsidies and Fadéla Amara's plan for the banlieues

By Tim King   August 2008

The travelling family circus

In the summer, culture comes to rural France. Amateur choirs who have practised through the dark winter burst forth with their requiems and masses in ancient abbeys. There are concerts in the music rooms of private chateaux, perfect for the brilliance of Mozart arias, the brooding melancholy of Chopin or, more eclectically, Perrault’s fairy tales, with lute accompaniment. The room will be packed—urbane financiers from Paris, relaxing with their families, next to the local dentist or even a sheep farmer fresh from milking, massive hands on massive thighs. Above us, on the decorated ceiling, faded alchemical…

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